Curacao Jurisdiction profile
Curacao is one of the oldest, yet still one of the least understood of the world's online gambling jurisdictions. The Curacao Gambling Control Board administers land-based gambling in the country and answers directly to the Minister of Justice. The board's main duties are fraud prevention and money laundering.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands (formerly Netherlands Antilles) is one of 36 members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). However, Curacao is a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) which has 25 members and is an associate member of FAFTA. The jurisdiction of Curacao complies with all Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) guidance given by FAFTA.
The Justice Minister has sole discretion in granting online gambling licenses which are issued by the Governor General of Curacao. Since 1996 there have been four Master Licenses awarded. The license holders are Cyberluck Curacao N.V. (curacao-egaming) #1668/JAZ; Gaming Curacao (GC) #365/JAZ, Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. (CIL) #5536/JAZ and Antillephone NV 8048/JAZ.
A Master License holder may grant sub-licenses to online casinos and other gambling sites. Sub-licensees are entitled to the full privileges granted to the Master License holder, with the exception that they may not issue sub-licenses of their own. One license covers games of skill, chance, and wagering as well as all peripheral activities such as software providers, service providers, network operators, platform operators, affiliates, marketers and white-label operators.
While not widely enforced, except by Curacao eGaming and Gaming Curacao, the casinos are required to display the badge or logo of the Master Licensee. The Master Licensee's badge or icon can be clicked and if it is a valid license a web browser will be directed to a validation page. If clicking the logo/badge does not take you to a validator page and the company's name and other information do not match with that on the license, it is not a licensed online casino or the licensee is not operating under the regulations.
While Curacao eGaming has been known to the public for years, a second Master License holder was identified and made their presence known on the internet in late 2013. The company has been serving the industry since 1998. Gaming Curacao's badge or logo is more modern and colorful. If clicked, it will take a browser to an official validation page. This license holder is now more transparent than Curacao eGaming as they issue and publish an actual sub-license number for casinos under them. Again, if the logo does not redirect you to the Master License holder's page, or the company information on the casino site and the Gaming Curacao page do not match up - it is not a licensed casino.
In Conclusion, any casino with a clickable Curacao license logo that takes you to a validator page of either curacao-egaming.com or gaming-curacao.com, CIL or Antillephone and whose company information on the casino site matches that on the validator page, is officially and legally licensed by the government of Curacao to conduct a gambling business.
However, it would appear that the licensing regime is mostly concerned with an online casino's financial stability, integrity, KYC (know your customer) and other AML/CFT issues than other forms of player protection, as neither the government nor the Master License holders provide any dispute resolution services. Some do allow complaints to be filed, and occasionally they will take action against a casino such as suspending or revoking its license.